Social media companies face a tough choice in censoring their users. Steven Pinker joins Steven Edginton to discuss rationality, big tech companies and conspiracy theories in the latest Off Script podcast. Watch the full episode above or search “Off Script” on your podcast app.
Tag Archives: Psychology
Book Review: ‘Rationality’ By Steven Pinker (NY Times)
Conspiracy Theories: ‘Why People Are So Attracted?’
Belief in conspiracy theories is far more widespread than the stereotypes that dominate pop culture. Recently, QAnon, Covid-19 and 5G theories have gained traction and criticism while less controversial conspiracies like the faked moon landing have persisted for decades. We all share hardwired evolutionary traits that make us vulnerable to them, from the way we assign truth to new information to our tendency to find patterns in unrelated phenomena. But if we’re all potentially susceptible to conspiracy theories, how can we manage these cognitive shortcuts?
Retail Psychology: ‘How Museum Gift Shops Decide What To Sell’ (Video)
Gift shops are like the final exhibit of an art museum. They’re often located toward the exit and are unmissable on your way out the door. Souvenirs inside can range from Vincent Van Gogh socks to giant stuffed soup cans to Mona Lisa rubber ducks.
But how do gift shop curators decide what to sell? Stocking decisions often revolve around how curators want visitors to perceive the art lining museum walls. When you see a certain piece of art on a lot of merchandise, that usually means curators think that artwork is important. And thanks to a psychological phenomenon called the mere-exposure effect, the more you see that art, the more you begin to think it’s important.
Read more about this from Micaela Marini Higgs at Vox: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/11…
Aging: ’80-Year Olds On Happiness In 2021′ (Video)
Does your grandparent hold the secret to a happier New Year? Because Americans over 80 years old report feeling happier than any other age group, we asked them to share their wisdom as 2021 begins during a time of challenge and uncertainty. These elders include cannabis comedian Tommy Chong, a psychologist, a transgender burlesque performer, and a 90-year-old nudist who lets it all hang out. Self-Evident: A PBS American Portrait Miniseries seeks to answer the question: what does it really mean to be an American today? Join our hosts — Dr. Ali Mattu, a licensed therapist and clinical psychologist and YouTuber behind “The Psych Show,” as well as Danielle Bainbridge, Ph.D., historian and the writer/creator of PBS’s “The Origin of Everything” — as they explore the lives of real Americans, living during this unprecedented moment in time.
Exercise Health Benefits: “Should I Go To The Gym Today?” (MGH Video)
This presentation by Julia Browne, PhD, a clinical and research fellow in the Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was part of Schizophrenia Education Day 2019.
Sleep Health: “The Neurology And Psychology Of Insomnia”
From a Psychology Today online article:
For those with insomnia, however, the stressor appears to be the lack of sleep, and the desire for sleep becomes a stressor in itself. In other words, the fixation on getting sleep leads to feelings of stress over not falling asleep, which begins a vicious loop. According to a model first proposed by Kales et al. in 1976, patients can develop a conditioned fear of not being able to sleep, which puts them in a state of hyperarousal when they attempt to fall asleep. This makes their inability to sleep a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Insomnia is the most common sleep condition in the world, with half of adults globally reporting occasional episodes. Chronic insomnia, though far less prevalent, affects as many as 10 to 15 percent of the adult population.
Though these sleep problems are extremely common, the neurobiological mechanisms behind insomnia are not entirely understood. Research suggests that emotional stressors do play an outsized role in contributing to sleep problems, and it is well documented that mood and anxiety disorders are common comorbidities with insomnia. This seems like common sense. Emotional arousal, whether due to a state of anxiety or because of intrusive thoughts, makes it difficult to relax, thereby inhibiting one’s ability to either initiate sleep or get back to sleep after waking.
New Books: “You’re Not Listening – What You’re Missing and Why It Matters” By Kate Murphy
“When you listen and really grasp what another person is saying, your brainwaves and those of the speaker are literally in sync. By looking at brain scans, neuroscientists have found that the greater overlap and similarity of neural impulses between speaker and listener, the greater the understanding. It’s observable, measurable proof of listening, comprehension, and connection. You know it’s happening when you have that “Oh I get it” moment or sense of clarity when someone else is talking. You’re on the same wavelength, even if you don’t necessarily agree.”
In her new book You’re Not Listening, Kate Murphy draws attention to the worldwide epidemic of not listening, exposing the profound impact that it is having on us all and showing what we can do about it.
In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.
Top New Science Podcasts: Social Priming, Killer Whale Grandmothers And Accoustics (Nature)
Listen to the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. This week, the embattled field of social priming, and the latest sounds from a big acoustic meeting.
In this episode:
00:45 What’s next for social priming?
How might a branch of psychological research move forward in the face of replication failures? News Feature: What’s next for psychology’s embattled field of social priming
08:55 Research Highlights
Killer-whale grandmothers help their grandchildren survive, and the failed voyage of a reproduced ancient raft. Research Highlight: Why female orcas make killer grandmas; Research Highlight: On a model ancient raft, seafarers are up the current without a paddle
11:12 The sounds of science
We hear the latest updates from the Acoustical Society of America’s recent conference.
18:44 News Chat
Reassessing when civilisations moved to modernity, and understanding exoplanets. News: When did societies become modern? ‘Big history’ dashes popular idea of Axial Age; News: European space telescope to launch new era of exoplanet science
New Science Podcasts: Archaeologists Study Slavery In Caribbean, “WEIRD” Psychology
Most historical accounts of slavery were written by colonists and planters. Researchers are now using the tools of archaeology to learn more about the day-to-day lives of enslaved Africans—how they survived the conditions of slavery, how they participated in local economies, and how they maintained their own agency. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about a Caribbean archaeology project based on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and launched by the founders of the Society for Black Archaeologists that aims to unearth these details. Watch a related video here.
Sarah also talks with Jonathan Schulz, a professor in the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about a role for the medieval Roman Catholic Church in so-called WEIRD psychology—western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic. The bulk of psychology experiments have used participants that could be described as WEIRD, and according to many psychological measures, WEIRD subjects tend to have some extreme traits, like a stronger tendency toward individuality and more friendliness with strangers. Schulz and colleagues used historical maps and measures of kinship structure to tie these traits to strict marriage rules enforced by the medieval Catholic Church in Western Europe. Read related commentary.